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Note to Teachers: The purpose of this summary is to describe briefly in one place The Haiku Foundation resources that are a significant part of the first ten haiku lessons. Each title of a plan links to the complete plan in The Haiku Foundation Education Resources, including the poems for the lessons. The summary also shows the development of language arts skills, as they apply to teaching haiku.

Haiku Awareness for Kindergarten Students:

The group lesson features one poem, which is by Jim Kacian (from his book Presents of Mind). The book is available in The Haiku Foundation Digital Library. This is a listening activity. As with all the lessons, the goal is for students to experience and enjoy the beauty of this genre of poetry.

Additional haiku are provided, so the premise of the lesson can be applied to new poems. The haiku are from Montage: The Book. The online Montage galleries are also mentioned in the lesson plan.

Montage, a haiku gallery edited by Allan Burns and sponsored by The Haiku Foundation, was updated weekly from March to December of 2009. A comparative exhibit, its goal was to juxtapose the work of poets, often from different times and places, in order to suggest something about the range and breadth of haiku in English. Translations of Japanese classics, world haiku, pioneering attempts to domesticate haiku to English, senryu, and experimental efforts to stretch the boundary of what haiku in English can be — all were fair game. Each gallery had its theme and typically featured seven haiku by three different poets. . .” (The Haiku Foundation website).

Haiku Awareness for Students in Grades 1 – 2:

The haiku in the lesson is by Peggy Willis Lyles, and is from her Poet Profile in the Haiku Registry. This is a group listening activity.

Additional haiku provided in the plan are from Montage: The Book, and there is a link to the online Montage galleries in the plan. The Haiku Registry is an international gallery of poets, who have published English-Language haiku or senryu in an edited journal (print or online). Both resources are also recommended to teachers and others for general reading and preparation for teaching haiku today.

Haiku Reading for Grades 1 – 2:

The haiku in the lesson and additional haiku are by Jim Kacian (Presents of Mind). You can read Presents of Mind and other books in The Haiku Foundation Digital Library, which is another excellent resource for general knowledge and teacher preparation.

Haiku Writing for Grades 1 – 2:

This plan reprints two haiku from the Grades 1 – 2 reading plan, as review and preparation for the writing lesson plan, which is subdivided into three short lessons. Students begin to learn about the process of writing, and they write a practice haiku as a class, with words from a vocabulary list they created. Editing and sharing haiku are also a part of the plan, which should be taught over 2 or 3 days. Review is built into the lessons.

Haiku Awareness for Students in Grades 3 – 4:

This is a listening comprehension lesson. The haiku in the plan is by Billie Wilson; from Montage: The Book. Additional poems provided are from Montage: The Book, and from burl by Mark Harris (Red Moon Press, 2012). As stated in the lesson, “We recognize that the reading levels of children in the grades you teach likely vary. This activity is designed to be a fun lesson for the whole group. The goal is for children to experience and enjoy the beauty of poetry, and to also give them some background for reading and writing their own haiku in future lessons.”

Haiku Reading for Grades 3 – 4:

This lesson continues with Montage, a book and online gallery unique to The Haiku Foundation. This is a group lesson, and the goal is to show beginning comprehension of haiku by a variety of poets; along with beginning to discover the history of this genre through examples of poems. As with all the haiku lessons, a related goal is to help the students connect haiku with their everyday lives, and to appreciate all we have in common.

Gallery Fifteen: Play Ball is featured in the lesson.

Haiku Writing for Grades 3 – 4:

In this plan, we are asking students to begin writing their own haiku. We also show teachers and students how haiku can be a part of science and history classes. Gallery Seventeen: The Good Earth is featured (from Montage: The Book). Allan Burns provides introductions for the galleries, which are useful for all readers.

The lesson plan is detailed and follows a model of teaching writing that includes prewriting, writing, and revision and sharing.

This is also a good place to mention that the lessons in this series include adaptations. Some students may be ready to write sooner, and others may benefit from more listening and reading haiku work.

Haiku Awareness for Students in Grades 5 – 6:

This plan features Gallery Thirteen: Spring Is Here from Montage: The Book. We also suggest that students may wish to take notes, and begin the habit of writing often in a notebook.

The Gallery Thirteen introduction briefly discusses the seasons from both a poetic and scientific perspective. Regarding the poets in this lesson, “Buson, Richard Wright, and Jack Berry stand among the many haiku poets for whom seasonality is a central concern. Here, in their various styles, representing different eras and stages in the development of haiku, both Japanese- and English-language, are sustaining visions of the springtime. Note carefully how the flavor of the season permeates and expands the meaning of each of these poems.”

Haiku Reading for Grades 5 – 6:

Gallery ThirtyThree: The Haiku Capital of the Midwest is featured in this lesson. We also highlight the cover of Montage: The Book, which is Joy, a watercolor painting by Ron Moss; and the book design by Jim Kacian (Red Moon Press). This book may inspire the creation of a class haiku book, at the end of the writing plan.

In addition, this plan offers The Haiku Foundation Video Interviews: Francine Banwarth.

Haiku Writing for Grades 5 – 6:

For this plan, we feature haiku from Montage: The Book (Winchester, VA: The Haiku Foundation, 2010, 2012).

Allan Burns, Editor, states in the Preface: “Jim Kacian and I hammered out the essential concept of Montage . . . We settled upon a comparative exhibit, with the goal of juxtaposing the work of poets often from different times and places, in order to suggest something about the range and breadth of haiku in English.”

The overall theme for this plan is The Senses In Our Everyday Lives: what we may see, hear, touch, smell, and taste.

This plan is subdivided into three short lessons, to model for the students that writing is a process. The lessons should be taught over two or three days, so students have the opportunity to revisit their poems after some time has passed. The haiku in the lesson are from Gallery ThirtyOne: Birthdays (II).


Haiku Registry

Harris, Mark. burl (Winchester, VA: Red Moon Press, 2012).

Kacian, Jim. Presents of Mind (Winchester, VA: Red Moon Press, 1996, 2006).

Montage: The Book, Created and Edited by Allan Burns (2010, 2012, The Haiku Foundation; Book Design by Red Moon Press).

Montage Online Archive

The Haiku Foundation Digital Library

The Haiku Foundation Video Gallery

The Haiku Foundation Main Site

The Haiku Foundation Education Resources

Our plans in the Lessons For All Ages category also highlight resources and events at The Haiku Foundation.

We look forward to reading haiku by your students, inspired by The Haiku Foundation Education Resources.

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Lessons cited are by Jim Kacian, THF President, and Ellen Grace Olinger, Ed.D.

Summary is by Ellen Grace Olinger.

Thanks to Jim Kacian for his work in designing and publishing this summary.


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